The 24th annual Northalsted Haunted Halloween Parade returned Oct. 31 after a hiatus due to the pandemic. The route was extended from Aldine Avenue to Waveland Avenue, finishing at a stage near Broadway. There was live entertainment from the band iPop and a costume contest that grand marshals Matthew Rodrigues (from the local NBC show Chicago Today) and drag artist Batty Davis officiated.
The parade was free to watch and participate in, kicking off at 6 p.m. at Halsted Street and Aldine. The all-ages affair gave away $6,000 in prizes at an awards ceremony after the parade ended. Six categories included: Scary, Drag, Creative, Youth, Cosplay, Group Less Than Six, with $500 for first place and $250 for the runner-up. Groups of more than six individuals were given $1,000 for first place and $500 as a runner-up. (Windy City Times had not received the names of the winners as of this article's publishing.)
Winners this year included Bill K. and Steve S. from Ohio in the Creative category; they were part of a huge skull. The Dark Royals (married team Carlos and Ryan Z.) were Creative runner-up.
Other winners included Midsommar-inspired costumes winning the Cosplay category, with a Star Wars entry being the runner-up. Grace L. won first place in the Scary category as a chain-covered demon; Brant M., as another demon, was runner-up. In the Youth category, Marco O. Won for his Transformer costume, while Mila M. Was runner-up with an adorable princess costume. Drag artistry had Kevin T winning with Maskerade, a frock made from surgical masks; Ben M. Was runner-up as Drag-onfly. Rodrigues quipped, "Remember when there was a mask shortage?"
The Group (Less Than Six) Award went to Bridget, Chase and Reneh, who dressed as designer purses; Blythe D. was runner-up for being Twerk-O-Saurus Rex. Lastly, the Large Groups (More Than Six) award went to a group dressed as Shedd Aquarium creatures; the runner-up award went to a group dressed as Sesame Street characters.
Sponsors included Geico, Bacardi, Grey Goose Vodka and nrg. Windy City Jeep Club provided transportation in the parade and Chicago Full Moon Jam put on a fire show along the way.
Northalsted Business Alliance organized the event.
For more information, visit NorthHalsted.com .